Did you know that most children don’t see a dentist until they’re walking? It’s one thing that can catch many parents off guard, but it’s been recommended by dentists across the country that infants should see their family dentist much earlier than most parents think
In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your baby should have his or her first dental visit by the time they’re 1 year old — or at least 6 months after they’ve sprouted their first tooth. In most cases, your child should grow his or her first tooth right around 6 months.
“A trip to the dentist for just ONE tooth?!”
We know, it sounds crazy — many parents wonder why a dental visit is necessary for a single tooth or a couple of teeth. But many of them are also surprised to learn how important a child’s primary teeth are. Contrary to popular opinion, just because they’re going to be whisked away by the tooth fairy some day, this doesn’t mean that they can be ignored. As the AAPD explains, the primary teeth are vital and it’s important that they remain in place until they fall out naturally.
This is important for a number of reasons:
- Primary teeth make-way for permanent teeth. Improperly aligned primary teeth lead to improperly aligned adult teeth.
- Primary teeth help your child properly chew
- Primary teeth play an important role in early speech development and pathology
What to expect at your child’s first dental appointment
So you’ve noticed your baby has finally sprouted their first tooth. You’ve taken the pictures, you’ve washed it with a washcloth, and you’ve started the very touchy “teething stage”. What next?
As you can probably expect, your baby’s first visit to the dentist is generally a short one and involves only a small amount of treatment. First of all, it gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist in a very friendly way. Many times, the dentist will have mom or dad sit in the chair to demonstrate to the baby what a dental examination looks like, so they understand it’s normal and nothing to be afraid of.
Next, the pediatric dental specialist will check what few teeth your child has for decay, while also inspecting the jaw, gums, and other tissues for any problems. If necessary, the dentist will also clean available teeth. After a prize for the baby, the dentist will instruct you on any special instructions that should be followed for healthy growing teeth and send you on your way.
Questions about Pediatric Dentistry?
Not only do early pediatric dental visits ensure your child has a good foundation of oral care for the future, they also establish early on that the dentist’s office is nothing to be afraid of. Do you have questions about your baby’s first visit to the dentist and live in the Garden Grove, Orange County, or Anaheim area? We’re here to help.